TEAMtalk understands Rochdale have fended off a host of Premier League clubs to persuade starlet Daniel Adshead to sign his first professional deal at the club.
Adshead, who made his first-team debut just two weeks after his 16th birthday, has now put pen to paper on a long-term deal at Spotland having turned 17.
Adshead was being pursued by the Premier League elite and even spent time training with Manchester United earlier this summer.
Liverpool, Everton, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham were also keen and all made contact with Adshead, who would have been free to join a club of his choice, under EPPP regulations meaning Dale would have received limited compensation.
But Adshead, who went to the same school as United legend Nicky Butt, has decided against moving to United and others by signing a deal with Keith Hill’s side.
A source told TEAMtalk: “This just underlines how happy Daniel is at Rochdale, he could have moved to the Premier League now, but he knows if he continues to progress that opportunity will be there in the future, and he is clearly loving life with Keith Hill.”